Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Methodologies for life sciences | Structural biology | Large-scale biology
In medical imaging, developments focus on the quality of acquisitions (temporal and spatial resolution, sensitivity) and their interpretation. This is a question of improving technologies (e.g. the development of an antenna for high-field MRI, or software exploitation data), biochemical approaches (e.g. biomolecular labeling, or development of contrast agents) or developing new protocols. The DSV coordinates the national infrastructure in biology and health France Life Imaging (FLI), which organizes and standardizes French technological research in preclinical and clinical imaging.
Possible approaches to understand the functioning of a cell include the study of genes (and their transcription), proteins, and metabolites. These investigations generate a large amount of data (or “big data”) whose analysis requires skills and significant bioinformatic resources. To achieve this, the DSV has at its disposal a network of bioinformaticians with expertise in large-scale analyses and systems biology, making the DSV a major user of the TGCC/GENCI supercomputing center. Molecular modeling also has a prominent role, with an internationally visible expertise. The DSV is involved in structuring the French research landscape in these areas through its role in the national infrastructure of proteomics (Profi), genomics (France Génomique), and metabolomics and fluxomics (MétaboHUB).
Biochemical reactions in a cell operate in three dimensions. The goal of integrated structural biology is to understand these reactions at the molecular level in a cellular and dynamic context. To integrate the finest possible structural data into their models, researchers at the DSV are developing new methodologies in NMR, mass spectrometry, microscopy, crystallography, and small angle scattering.Teams from the Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) that are part of the infrastructure include FRISBI (on a national level) and INSTRUCT (on the European level).
When immersed in biological media, nanoparticles are immediately "wrapped" in proteins. A study conducted by researchers from the Iramis and Joliot (I2BC) institutes clarifies the importance of protein size on the formation of this envelope and recommends better consideration of this parameter in proteomic and nanotoxicological studies.
How did Evolution shape the architecture of neural networks? A CEA-Jacob team describes these networks in one of the smallest and most genetically distant primates from humans.
Microbial rhodopsins are among the proteins responsible for capturing solar energy on the Earth, especially in the seas. Researchers from CEA-Irig (IBS) have characterized the structure and function of several unique rescently disoived rhodopsins.
A team from the CEA-Joliot has developed an MRI technique that makes it possible to acquire multiple parameters and to reconstruct quantitative maps of the brain with different contrasts, crucial for the diagnosis of brain pathologies.
A bacterium present in our intestinal macrobiota produces a particularly interesting antibiotic: Ruminococcin C1. Explanations from CEA-Irig.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.